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Dance of Knives

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Gorgeous Hannigram video to set the mood: vordeel's Glitter & Gold

 


 

This, Will thinks as he reloads, could have gone a lot fucking better.

A bullet whizzes by his left shoulder. The angle reveals its direction and Will ducks out from behind a granite counter-top long enough to put one of his own through a man's left eye before slamming behind a mammoth of a fridge. A hail of lead follows immediately. None of the bullets make it through the fridge and into Will. Thank God for rich men's pretensions when it comes to appliances.

"Three to go," Will calls out cheerfully.

A man swears in angry Russian. Will curves an arm around the fridge and shoots him in the throat.

"Dva," he corrects.

There had been seven when he had started.

Will had chosen his night well. Verger had retired early, on account of a particularly heavy bout of physical therapy that afternoon. His hired help had been dismissed by eight, the security personnel retiring to their assigned positions around the property by nine-thirty. Will had slipped by three men in dark suits to get inside, slid a knife into a fourth who had the misfortune to be stationed at a spot Will could not go around. Confident that he had breached the last level of security on the first floor, Will had pushed the kitchen door open and set on a preselected route for the second floor and Verger's bedroom.

The mobsters had been a rather nasty surprise.

Will had shot one man and gutted another with a kitchen knife from a nearby counter before dropping down and taking cover. Verger must have kept them in the fucking basement for Will not to notice.

That, or someone had tipped him off and the thugs are a brand-new addition.

Will drops his gun and crouches low. He swings out of his shelter, barrelling into a man's midsection. The man is larger than him, has a gun that could blow Will's skull open any moment.

Will snarls and twists a dagger deeper into the man's guts. The thug chokes on shocked pain and drops his weapon, large hands gripping Will's hair in a weak attempt to tear him away. Will doesn't stop twisting the blade until his entire hand is in the man's stomach. The man dies clutching at Will's shoulders.

Will straightens slowly. He pulls his hand out of the man's gut, the action accompanied by a meaty slurping sound. His skin has been dyed a dark burgundy, bloody well beyond his wrist.

Will lifts his eyes.

The last remaining gunman stares back from across a blood-splattered island counter, wild and terrified. He is clutching a Glock with both hands. The muzzle swerves left and right as he shakes.

Will smiles.

The man yells and pulls the trigger. The bullet goes wide and Will is vaulting over the counter, slamming into a wall of muscle and thrusting a knife through a bearded chin all the way up into the man's brain.

The man jerks and falls silent. The Glock clatters against the floor.

Will takes a breath. The room swirls before his eyes, like wine in a glass.

He unsheathes the knife. Red spurts down between Will and the corpse to stain the floor.

Will exits the kitchen and climbs up the stairs to the second floor with slow, calm steps.

Verger's bedroom door is open. Verger himself is doing his best to drag his body toward an elevator at the far end of the hallway. His wheelchair lays between the open doorway and Verger's prostate body, upended and useless.

Will strides forward and crouches at Verger's side, directly above his exposed throat.

"And where are you going, Mr. Verger?"

A bubbling scream wells up from Verger's disfigured face. Will nods, as if he had received an answer.

Onto the main course.

 


 

Hannibal Lecter opens the front door of his home a bit after six in the afternoon, eyes on the bundle of letters he holds in his left hand. He makes to stride inside.

Pauses.

Hannibal tilts his head, nostrils flaring. A slow smile spreads over his face, disturbing the gentle expression it had hereto born.

Hannibal steps over the threshold and closes the door. The day's mail, collected from a box posted out before the estate's main gate, goes in its usual place on a tall glass table. Hannibal's coat is similarly attended to, hung neatly on a curved hook belonging to a wooden stand.

The rituals of homecoming completed, Hannibal straightens and walks into the waiting shadows.

The sun still shines blearily in the skies above but the house is dark inside, quiet and still as a corpse. Hannibal does not turn on a single lamp as he makes his way through a sitting room, down a long hallway, and finally to the entryway of his kitchen. The smell hits him hard, thick and potent and old. Hannibal inhales deeply.

Light floods the kitchen and sinks in red.

"Oh, Will."

Will Graham grins from across Hannibal's counter, standing in the very same spot Hannibal had as a gun pointed at his heart not a month ago.

Mason Verger's torso sits before him, headless and limbless and soaked in its own blood.

Hannibal steps forward slowly, mindful of the dirty floor. "My kitchen is not a place for butchery, Will," Hannibal admonishes, then reconsiders. "Not usually."

Will waves a hand in a dismissive gesture. Hannibal tracks the motion with his eyes. Will's arms are bared and covered in slick red, from his fingertips to his elbows. Gorgeous.

"Oh, you won't mind soon enough," Will is saying.

Hannibal halts his steady approach. "And why is that?"

Will grins wider.

"Because I'm about to rip your throat out, you double-crossing son of a bitch."

Hannibal has just enough time to twist to the right. Cold stings high up his left cheekbone, soon washed away beneath tears of hot blood. The dagger had barely missed its mark.

Hannibal thrusts his arms out, elbows bent. Will's fist collides against the shield of bone and meat, hard enough to press Hannibal's body back along the bloody floor. Another blow comes, then another and Hannibal parries, twisting in a circle to dance along with Will's fury.

"A sin born out of curiosity," Hannibal purrs, breathless and giddy with it - the adrenaline, the smell, Will's feral beauty, "I had faith in your success, dear Will."

"Fucker," Will hisses and punches him harder, presses closer, "Your faith almost got me a bullet in the gut!"

"They did not touch you," Hannibal says, certain, and falls further back. The wall is close; his time is running out. "They could not." The awe in his voice is not affected in the least.

Will lets out a strangled yell and slams Hannibal against wood and plaster. Hannibal reaches back to brace himself, driven by pure instinct - a momentarily lapse.

More than enough for Will to lunge forward and wrap his teeth around Hannibal's throat.

Time stands still.

"Will," Hannibal croaks. Will tightens his hold and shakes his head. Bruises bloom around Hannibal's neck, a necklace of violence.

Hannibal swallows and falls silent.

They stay like that. Will is a tense, dominating presence - hot with anger, skin heady with the smell of testosterone and sweat. Hannibal breathes him in and remains docile and submissive, content to be held in his jaws.

When the teeth leave his flesh, Hannibal must bite his tongue so he does not beg them back.

Blue eyes snap up. Will's frown softens until it disappears altogether.

The man sighs and takes another step back. "Psycho," he mutters, but it comes out fond.

"Merely content with my nature," Hannibal says. His voice rings rougher than natural for him. Will glances up. The man's pleasure at the evidence of his brief victory over Hannibal is almost palpable.

Hannibal inhales deeply. Certainly detectable.

"If you screw me over again, Lecter, they'll be finding your spleen hanging off your roof," Will warns.

Lecter inclines his head and smiles. "Noted."

Will cocks an eyebrow. "That wasn't a come on. I mean it."

"I understand, Will."

"Well, good. Now," Will shifts his attention to what is left of Verger. "I finished him off an hour or so ago, so the meat's fresh. You're going to have to show me how to get the heart out, though. If you want it in one piece, that is."

Hannibal feels the room breathe around him, squeeze him tight and cover him in blood.

"Yes. I do," he says at length.

"So," Will nods him on. There is blood on his chin. Hannibal wants to lick it away. "Talk. Tell me what to do."

Hannibal swallows heavily, and does.

Will follows instructions beautifully. His focus is extreme, and Hannibal finds he is almost jealous of its object. Verger's chest is opened and his ribcage exposed soon enough. Will's hands never pause, working at the exact pace of Hannibal's words. Expecting them, predicting them.

Hannibal inhales sharply.

"You are me," he murmurs. "You are in me."

Will's smile is thin and sharp and not at all his own. "Yes." He does not look up from where he is carefully cutting through the muscles around Verger's heart.

"I want you," Hannibal says. The words are true and dark, irrational and uncaring for it. "Tonight."

"Yes," Will says.

Hannibal snarls and grips the back of Will's throat, fingers sliding to cup his Adam's apple. "Forever."

Blue eyes slide to Hannibal, clear and calm.

"Yes."

Hannibal's grin is a terrible, vicious thing.

Will finishes extracting the heart. Hannibal cleans it, wraps it in clear plastic and stores it in the fridge. "It is too late to begin dinner preparations tonight," he tells Will, apologetic.

Will shrugs. "That's fine. Can I use your shower?"

Hannibal inclines his head. "Please. There is a guest bathroom on the first floor. You can borrow something of mine to wear."

"Or I could not," Will smirks.

Hannibal's breath catches briefly. "Or you could not."

Hannibal climbs the stairs to the second floor and his own bedroom. He takes a quick shower, washing off Verger's thin blood and the day's grime and sweat, and dresses in more comfortable clothes than he would usually allow himself in company. A thin sweater. Soft, dark gray pants. He considers bringing Will clothing after all, but ultimately decides against it.

There is no need to pretend at civility, between them.

Hannibal hears footsteps, then a gentle knock on the door.

"Come in," Hannibal calls out. "I thought we could dine downstairs. There is-" Hannibal looks up from his bed.

Will walks closer. There is a towel wrapped around his waist, a soft blue thing. Below and above it stretches hard muscle and scarred flesh. Hannibal's eyes catch on the raised peaks of Will's nipples. He swallows.

"I'm not that hungry," Will tells him around a knowing grin. "What's that?"

Hannibal glances toward the bed, reaction somewhat delayed. A large, black box made of solid wood sits at its foot. "That would be your present."

Will's smile falters. "You didn't have to."

"I promised, did I not?" Hannibal lifts the box. He offers it to Will with both hands and a bow of his head. "For you. A crown of rubies."

Will takes the box with a shaky laugh and pulls at the lid. "I swear, if there's really jewelry in here-" Will's words cut off with a hard inhale and his face slowly slacks in wonder.

Hannibal smiles.

"Hannibal, oh my God," Will grips the box with one hand, the other trailing lovingly over the item inside. At length, he places the box on the bed and extracts its contents: A gorgeous hand arm carved of smooth, black steel. It is solidly built but elegant, and fits in Will's palm as it had always been there. Will looks up from it to Hannibal and back, "I - I can't accept-"

"Refusing a gift would be terribly rude, Mr. Graham," Hannibal chides.

Will gives him another small, honest smile. "I guess I won't, then." He brings the gun closer, trails a hand over the barrel.

Hannibal is consumed by the need to have Will with the gun in hand and nothing else. He thinks of reaching out, grabbing the towel, pulling it off the man's slim hips. His fingers clench with the need, uncontrollable.

Hannibal stills.

No. Not clenching.

His fingers are shaking.

"What did you do?" Hannibal asks, voice sluggish and uneven.

Will has the grace to look slightly abashed for a moment, but then the expression melts into calm disregard. "Poison. Mild, and a small dosage, too. The paralysis won't last longer than a couple of hours."

"The dagger," Hannibal murmurs. The room tilts; he is suddenly on the bed with Will looming above him, an angel of soft curls and bloody wings.

"I planned to gut you, you know. As soon as I got you upstairs. Leave you in your bed, the mattress soaked with your blood, your body as pale as snow," Will whispers and Hannibal gasps with the beauty of the image. "But then you went and gave me this," Will coos at the gun in his hand and smiles for Hannibal, an incorrigible little demon. He bends, presses a slow kiss to Hannibal's unresponsive mouth. "This is my thank you. We're even now."

Will pushes off the bed. Hannibal makes a soft noise of distress; he does not want him to leave, cannot let him go. Not after this. Will shushes him gently and shakes his head.

"Later, love. I will be by for dinner tomorrow. You will be back in tip-top shape by then. We can fight some more." Will smiles, face filling Hannibal's hazy vision until it melts into the world behind his eyelids.

We will tear each other apart, Hannibal hears, just before the darkness pulls him under. He cannot tell if the words had been spoken by Will, or if they are echoes of Hannibal's own thoughts.

They are real enough in either case.